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Iconic Olympia Beer Gets Into the Vodka Business

Plus, an intriguing restaurant with slow-cooked ribs lands in Bellingham and cocktail destination Canon closes temporarily out of COVID-19 precautions

Five bottles of Olympia Artesian Vodka lined up next to each other
Olympia Artesian Vodka has launched from the makers of the iconic beer brand.
Olympia Beer/Instagram

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Iconic Olympia Beer Gets Into the Vodka Business

Switching to the hard stuff, the well-known former PNW brand Olympia Beer — currently owned by the Pabst Brewing Company — recently introduced its own line of spirits called Olympia Artesian Vodka. Though the beer operation (which started in Washington 126 years ago) is currently based out in California, the vodka distillery is in Tumwater, and claims to use the same artesian well water that once made Olympia famous. Of course, many are already intimately familiar with the iconic logo and gold beer cans, which permeated pop culture and appeared in movies like “The Graduate.” Whether that will translate to vodka sales is another story. For what it’s worth, Washington Beer Blog recently did a taste test and reported that the new offering has an “agreeable herbal quality.”

Acclaimed New York-Born Barbecue Purveyor Lands in Bellingham

Those looking for hearty meat dishes north of Seattle have a new place to try. Carnal — a celebrated New York City pop-up that has appeared at events around the country over the past few years — is opening a permanent location Friday in Bellingham. On the menu are pork ribs slow-cooked in bone marrow fat, as well as pork jowl with smoked lard, chorizo, and coriander. The two Kentucky-born founders of Carnal bring Southern flavors and technique to their endeavor, even as they made their bones in NYC. It’ll now compete in a burgeoning Bellingham restaurant scene, which has a strong independent streak and several food trucks serving up Southern-style barbecue.

Cocktail Bar Canon Closes Temporarily Out of COVID Precautions

On Wednesday, Capitol Hill cocktail destination Canon (which had been open for takeout orders only) announced it was closing briefly out of an abundance of COVID-19 caution. In a statement posted on social media, the bar disclosed that a Canon cook recently came in contact with a mover, who had been exposed to the novel coronavirus. The employee is asymptomatic and is still awaiting test results, but the bar is closing for the time being and doing a deep clean. This follows a similar effort that Beacon Hill restaurant Homer made when it was discovered an employee may have been exposed to COVID-19, even in the absence of a positive test from that worker. It also indicates that rigorous contact tracing could help bars and restaurants mitigate the risk of a full-on outbreak.

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